McAllen, Texas Outline History of and the Surrounding Area

Outline History of
McAllen, Texas
and the Surrounding Area
Note: Particularly cold weather events have an unnaturally strong effect on the economy of the Lower Rio Grande Valley,
and it is for that purpose that they are listed in this historical sketch.
1519 - Alonso Alvarez de Pineda conducts the first recorded survey of the general area, sailing the coast
and mapping that area. He sailed under the authority of Francisco de Garay, Governor of Jamaica.
1740’s - Jose de Escandon establishes first organized settlements in the Lower Rio Grande area. Most of
the communities are established on the south side of the river.
1749 March 14 - Town of Reinosa (Reynosa) was founded. It was dedicated to Nuestra SeÒora de
Guadalupe, its captain was Don Carlos Cant˙. Reynosa had 50 families of settlers with 238 persons, one
captain one sergeant, and 9 soldiers with 41 persons which comprise, with the ones above, 279.
Reinosa’s mission, el Monte, was dedicated to SeÒor San JoaquÌn. Its minister was the the R.F. Fray
AgustÌn Fragoso. It has in residence 96 families of Indians with 300 persons...
Note: The original townsite of Reynosa is some distance from the existing town. The town was moved for
practical reasons early in its history.
1767 - The Spanish crown granted porcione 63 to Antonio Gutierrez. Porcione 64 was granted to Juan
Antonio Villareal. Parts of these grants were later to become the City of McAllen.
1797 - The Santa Anita Ranch was established by Jose Manuel Gomez, who received a land grant from
the Spanish crown this year. Salome Balli was his great grand-daughter.
Early 1850’s - John McAllen arrives in Rio Grande Valley from Scotland? ( or N. Ireland?)
J. McAllen begins working as a clerk in John Young’s store in Edinburgh (now Hidalgo).
1853 November 9 - John Young marries Salome Balli Dominguez. Salome had inherited the Santa Anita
Ranch, one of the original Spanish Land Grants in what is now northern Hidalgo County. That ranch was
established around 1797. (It was a very large land grant.)
1857 - Young’s livestock holdings recorded over 5,000 head of cattle, and even greater number of sheep.
During this time John McAllen was busily buying commodities such as: cotton, sugar, and salt, which
were then shipped down the Rio Grande on steamboats to the port at Brownsville. McAllen was also
involved in land acquisition for his business associate Mr. Young.
1862 - John Young dies, and John McAllen marries Mrs. Young. (Salome Balli Dominguez Young) Mr.
McAllen continued to acquire land for his Santa Anita ranch.
1895 - La Piedad cemetery founded.
1899 - February 12. Coldest temperature ever recorded at the Brownsville weather station 12 degrees
Fahrenheit. The whole Rio Grande Valley got a very hard freeze
1903 March - The Hidalgo Irrigation Company was organized.
1904 - James McAllen’s land holdings amount to more than 80,000 acres.
1904 August 20 - The St. Louis, Brownsville, and Mexico Railroad reach the Santa Anitas ranch.
McAllen decided to establish a townsite on the rail line eight miles north of the town of Hidalgo, then the
county seat of Hidalgo County.
1904 December 5 - McAllen Townsite Company was launched with a capitalization of 40,000 dollars.
Incorporators were John McAllen, James B. McAllen, Uriah Lott, Lon C. Hill, and John J. Young. Little
interest is shown for developing the new townsite, called McAllen (later known as West McAllen).
1905 February 27 - Railroad depot (a frame building) was opened in McAllen.
1907 May 16 - William Briggs, O.Em. Jones and John Closner started a town on their own tract 2 miles
east of the John McAllen Townsite. As the railroad had already provided a depot, they had to provide
their own. They named their town East McAllen. William Briggs purchased 1200 acres of land from
James McAllen. John Closner, O.E.M. Jones and Briggs used this land to establish a second townsite two
miles east of McAllen’s settlement. This became known as East McAllen. (Another source lists this as an
8.000 acre purchase.)
A post office named McAllen was established.
1908 - First buildings erected in East McAllen included a Presbyterian Church, the Osborn and Dewey
residences, and a grocery store. Mr. Briggs had a two story building moved from the West McAllen
Depot area to East McAllen, and operated it as a hotel for the McAllen Townsite Company.
Roselawn Perpetual Care Burial Park (Cemetery) founded.
1908 September - The Rio Bravo Irrigation Company was completing its canal to East McAllen. A new
hardware and furniture store was being built. By the end of the year East McAllen had 5 stores, 2 taverns,
2 lumber yards and a population over 300.
1909 - McAllen Chamber of Commerce established. December 11th, the _McAllen Monitor_ begins
1910 - East McAllen population about 150 people. Businesses continued to develop and relocate in
the vicinity of Main Street.
1911 February 20th - The City of McAllen incorporated. Latitude 26.13 N Longitude 98.15 W. the 100
ft. line above sea level runs through McAllen.
Frank G. Crow elected Mayor of McAllen
1912 - O. P. Archer elected Mayor of McAllen
1916 July 4th - 12,000 national guard soldiers arrived to help stop border banditry. The soldiers
brief stay in McAllen brought rapid economic growth to the city. (the Handbook of Texas reports that
there were 20,000 New York State troops stationed in McAllen.)
The (unofficial) population of McAllen is 1,200.
1917 - O.P. Archer deeded to the city of McAllen a one block square tract of land for use as a public
1918 - Casa de Palmas Hotel built.
1919-21 - McAllen becomes the broom corn center of the valley. Judge E.A. McDaniel supervised the
final details of getting the country club’s golf course into playing condition.
1920 - US Census population for McAllen 5,331 - McAllen Population by census 1920 - 2000.
1923 - Frank B. Freeland elected Mayor of McAllen
1925 - McAllen Municipal Hospital with facilities for twenty- five patients was completed.
1926 - 1st International Bridge to Reynosa opened on July 10th. McAllen Mayor F. B. Freeland greeted
Reynosa Mayor Rodriguez in the middle of the bridge.
1927 January - McAllen is chartered as a home rule city.
1927 - A 2 year college was created in Edinburg, TX managed by the Edinburg School District. This
was later to become Pan American.
1929 - Frank E. Osborn elected Mayor of McAllen
1930 - US Census population for McAllen 9,074
1930 - Sam Miller donates land to establish the Miller Airport.
(Now the McAllen-Miller International Airport)
1931 - John W. Ewing elected Mayor of McAllen
1933 - a second (replacement) bridge was built across the Rio Grande at Hidalgo. This was necessary
due to damage caused by a hurricane.
1933 - College in Edinburg, TX renamed Edinburg Junior College.
1934 - McAllen reputation for being a being a leading winter tourist resort area established.
Major oil boom in the valley.
The Reynosa bridge collapsed.
1935 - Construction begins on Quinta Mazatlan - a house made of 12 inch adobe brick. Jason and
Marcia Mathews built the house over a number of years.
A. L. Landry elected Mayor of McAllen.
1936 - The basement of the Archer Park bandstand becomes home to the McAllen Library.
1936 January 22 - US Post Office building on SE corner of Chicago Ave. and Main St. is dedicated.
The City of McAllen built a new bridge to Reynosa to replace the one which had collapsed. (collapse in
1937 - Horace Etchison elected Mayor of McAllen
1940 - US Census population for McAllen 11,877
1944 September 1st - McAllen elects to be operated as a city manager, mayor, commission form of
government. As such, was geared to good citizenship, civic loyalty, co-operation, growth and sound
1945 - Allen F. Vannoy elected Mayor of McAllen
1946 - Convention & Civic Center built.
1947 - T. B. Waite, Jr elected Mayor of McAllen
Runways paved at Miller Field (McAllen’s Airport)
1948 - Edinburg Junior College is renamed Edinburg Regional College. This change also separated it
from the Edinburg School District and put it into a college district.
1949 January - Hard freeze.
C. W. (Napper) Davis elected Mayor of McAllen.
1950 - US Census population for McAllen 20,067
On May 28, the McAllen Memorial Library building was dedicated and opened for business. Circulation
for 1950 was 28,496 items.
Valley Memorial Gardens (Cemetery) founded.
1951 February 1-2 - Hard freeze.
1951 - Pan American College was created out of Edinburg Junior College. It became a 4 year
institution and was supported by a county tax district.
1952 - Runway expansions at Miller Airport completed to accommodate Trans Texas Airlines.
Angus McLeod appointed Mayor of McAllen after Mayor C.W. (Napper) Davis steps down.
1953 - Phillip Boeye elected Mayor of McAllen
1954 - Falcon Dam, (on the Rio Grande in far western Starr County) is dedicated. President Dwight
Eisenhower was at the festivities.
The reservoir offers irrigation water and flood control and controls the major water source for the City
of McAllen.
The mid 1950’s were a period of drought for south Texas.
Rain from a slow moving thundershower adds considerable water to the lake.
- June, Rain from Hurricane Alice fills Falcon Dam in a single day.
1956 - Miller Airport receives FAA designation of “International Airport”
1955-1956-1957 drought - It was broken by a major rain that filled the floodways (not a hurricane) in
1958. (information from Charlie Rankin)
1957 June 22 - Rudolf Ivanovich Abel - Russian spy in federal custody - was flown from New York to
Brownsville, then driven to McAllen, TX. He was detained and questioned by the FBI. He was held in
the alien detention camp in McAllen (west of 25th Street and north of Quince - where the McAllen Senior
Citizen’s Center - now called the las Palmas Center - stands.) Rudolf Abel was held there until August 7,
1957 when he was moved to New York to stand trial. Eventually his release was arranged in a trade for
U2 Spy Airplane pilot Francis Gary Powers on February 10, 1962 in Berlin, Germany.
1959 - The McAllen Civic Center was completed in December. The total cost for the building, seating,
equipment etc. was $1,074,970.
1960 - US Census population for McAllen 32,728
On April 1, the city of McAllen bought the bridge across the Rio Grande at Hidalgo. This was a
suspension bridge.
1961 - McAllen was: the oil capital of the valley; leading winter resort of Texas; second or third most
important port of entry to Mexico; favorite valley shopping city; the location of one of Texas’ finest civic
centers; an important shipper of cotton, vegetables and citrus.
A new Airport terminal was built in July.
Robert F. Barnes elected Mayor of McAllen
1962 January 12 - Hard freeze. The temperature reached 18 degrees Fahrenheit at Texan Gardens.
1963 December 24 - Hard freeze.
1964 November - Jason Matthews, builder of Quinta Mazatlan died.
1967 - A new bridge (replacement) was constructed across the Rio Grande at Hidalgo.
It was opened July 1.
A third terminal was built at Miller International Airport.
A new City Hall building was built at 301 N. 15th Street.
1967 - September 20. Hurricane Beulah flooded Hidalgo and Cameron Counties with torrential rain. The
water took weeks to drain off the land.
1968 - The second largest addition to McAllen Memorial Library was built. It cost about $300,000. This
addition more than doubled the size of the previously existing library. The oldest portion of the library
became the children’s section, and a new wing with two stories was added on the north side. After a twoweek shutdown, the library was reopened Monday March 11, 1968. The public had the use of the new
wing while the old portion underwent remodeling. At the end of the year, the library had increased its
collection to 42,000 books.
1968 - Frank and Marilyn Schultz purchased Quinta Mazatlan.
1969 - McAllen Museum, later to become McAllen International Museum (MIM), later to become
International Museum of Arts and Science (IMAS), begins operations in a building at Quince and 25th
Street. This is the site of an old alien detention camp where, in 1957 Rudolf Ivanovich Abel, the Russian
spy who was traded for U2 pilot Francis Gary Powers, was held.
Jack Whetsel elected Mayor of McAllen.
1970 - US Census population for McAllen 37,636
1971 February 6 - Minor civil unrest in Pharr (sometimes called the Pharr Riot.) Did not spill over into
1975 - The new Main Post Office, on the SW corner of McColl Road and Pecan Ave. (FM 495) was
dedicated. This is a regional post office for the whole Lower Rio Grande Valley area.
1975 - A library addition, at a cost of $650,000, was completed in mid 1976. A three story wing was added
on to the north side of the existing structure and the library took on it’s present form. This expansion
housed a collection of 82,820 books.
1976 - An addition was made to the Convention Hall of the Civic Center. This addition cost $373,579.
- July 4. The McAllen International Museum dedicated its new building at Nolana and Bicentennial.
- La Plaza Mall opened giving McAllen a second strong retail sales area, later to become the most
productive shopping mall in the United States. JC Penny, Sears & Dillards are anchor stores
1976 September 1 - The Mexican peso devalued from 12.5 pesos to 1 dollar to 22 pesos to the dollar.
Before this evaluation a 100 peso note was commonly treated as an 8 dollar bill by most merchants in
McAllen. The peso had been at 12.5 to 1 for some 22 years, from 1954 to 1976.
1977 - Othal Brand elected Mayor of McAllen.
- Rio Grande Cancer Treatment Center opened on 501 N. Ware (in cooperation with M.D. Anderson)
1978 December 9. hard freeze. 1979 January 2. hard freeze. McAllen reached a low of 20 degrees
Fahrenheit. Texas Gardens registered 20 degrees.
1980 - Official Census Population of McAllen is 66,281
1980 August 10 - Hurricane Allen came up the Rio Grande Valley. Damage is not as great as it was
during Beulah.
1981 - Rio Grande Cancer Treatment Center goes independent & is re-named the Vannie Cook Cancer
Treatment Center.
1981 December 24 - A major and disastrous freeze kills much tender foliage, and sets back the citrus
industry for many years. It actually gets well into the Fahrenheit teens (17 deg.) and stays there for over
24 hours with a strong wind from the north, effectively freeze drying many plants, including most of the
orange and grapefruit trees.
1982 - Mexican Peso is rapidly devalued leading to economic crisis. It began this year at 25 pesos to 1
dollar, and by the end of 1982 the exchange rate was 150 pesos to 1 dollar, and by the beginning of the
next year was about 200 to the dollar.
1982 - September Rio Grande Regional Hospital (HCA) opened.
1983 - May Charter Palms Hospital opened.
1983 December 24-25 - very hard freeze seriously hurt citrus industry. Trees were hurt or killed and it
was years before production recovered. A second freeze the evening of December 29th would have been
more notable if it had not been preceded by the more disastrous freeze days earlier.
1984 - Texas State Technical Institute, a branch of the Harlingen campus is operating in McAllen on land
and in buildings provided by the City of McAllen, on west Pecan Blvd.
1985 December 31 - McAllen Medical Center (Hospital) open in its present building at SW corner of
Expressway 83 and 2nd Street. McAllen has grown to be a major medical center.
1987 - SAM’s Wholesale club in El Centro Mall (Pharr)
1987 November 19 - Mexican peso devalues. The official Mexico City rate was 2,700 to one dollar, but
in Reynosa, Tamaulipas and Hidalgo, Texas it was trading at 2,900 to 1 dollar.
1989 - The Vannie Cook Cancer Treatment Center moved to the Medical Center Complex, near 2nd
Street, South of Expressway 83.
1989 September 21 - Alton School Bus accident - 21 children die when a school bus is knocked off
the road by a Dr. Pepper truck. The bus landed in a water filled pit at the corner of 5 Mile Line Road and
Bryan Road.
1989 December 26 - hard freeze. Some additional damage was suffered by the citrus industry but not
nearly as bad as the 1983 freeze. The sugarcane harvest was damaged.
1990 - US Census population for McAllen 89,000 It is a contested number. Local officials believe there
was a serious undercount.
1991 - Work was begun on the new McAllen - Miller International Airport terminal.
1991 - September 20 SAM’s Club (store) moved to McAllen from Pharr and opened new store east of “las
Tiendas” S. of Expressway 83
1992 - It was decided to build a new City Hall building on the site of the old McAllen Hospital. Plans for
the demolition of most of the hospital building are made.
- In a nonbinding referendum the voters decided to go ahead with plans to build a new Civic Center and
Performing Arts facility at the site that is the northeast corner of Ware Road and Expressway 83.
- Las Tiendas Shopping Mall opened. S. of Expy. 83 Target, Builder’s Square, Mervyns, Michael’s Crafts,
Office Depot, Solo Serve Ross clothing, Best Buy,
1993 May - Demolition was completed on the old McAllen hospital located on Houston St.In a contested
election Mayor Othal Brand was re-elected Mayor of McAllen, over City Commissioner, Charles Wilson.
1993 June 2 - Governor Ann Richards signed the bill that created South Texas Community College. STCC occupies the campus previously occupied by Texas State Technical College, Harlingen - McAllen
Branch. STCC was created to serve the people of Hidalgo and Starr Counties.
1993 September 8 - First students registering at South Texas Community College in McAllen.
1993 September 23 - The completely new terminal of McAllen - Miller International Airport was
NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) passed.
1993 July - Service Merchandise opens a second store in the Las Tiendas addition. (Their first store in La
Plaza Mall remains open.)
1993 December - Overpass at Expressway 83 and US 281 is dedicated.
1994 December - Mexican Peso is devalued.
1995 - Office Max (discount office supplies) opens in McAllen Pavilion shopping mall, next to Petsmart
1995 October 9 - New CITY HALL building opened at 1300 Houston (old McAllen hospital site)
- The old City Hall building became the Tax Office, Teen Court, and housed the Lower Rio Grande
Development Council (LRGVDC) offices (The local Council of Government or COG).
1995 December - McAllen Heart Clinic opens.
- Well established businesses Cook Office Supply and Jones Office Supply merge.
1996 January 26 - Texas State Library Internet Connectivity Grant for South Texas Libraries OK’d by
Library Commission in Austin.
1996 January - Stores close in McAllen: J. Edelsteins (75 years old - furniture store) Valley Mercantile
(over 55 years old - clothing store)
1996 April 29 - After about 170 days without more than a passing drizzle there were thundershowers
and significant rain in a late season frontal passage.
1996 May - McAllen’s longtime upscale department store, Jones & Jones sells out to the Foleys chain
(part of the May group of stores.)
1996 August 22 - Internet site up at McAllen Memorial Library. with world wide web address
1997 May - Leo Montalvo elected Mayor of McAllen. Half-cent sales tax for Economic Development
passes. This is defined under State of Texas code 4B legislation.
1998 February - The City of McAllen purchases Quinta Mazatlan from Frank Schultz for 1.4 million
dollars. It is one of the larger adobe structures in South Texas. Quinta Mazatlan was built in the 1930’s by
Jason Matthews who published American Mercury magazine. (details in Monitor article Oct. 11, 1998 p.
1998 July - The long term drought continues. McAllen starts phase 3 of water conservation efforts. So
far in 1998 McAllen has had less than 1 inch of rain, when the normal average would be over 8 inches
of rain by this time of the year. Falcon Reservoir is at the 22 percent level. It is anticipated that the river
flow will be sufficient for the municipal use of the towns along the Rio Grande, but it is not sufficient for
agricultural use unless there is a significant recharge in the system (ie. rain above the dam.)
1998 August - Texas State Bank opened its new building, the third major multi-story bank building in
McAllen. It is located on the Southeast corner of 10th Street and Nolana.
Major improvements to Expressway 83 (US Hwy 83) are in progress. The beams to support the
Bicentennial Blvd. overpass are mounted over Expy. 83 and the elevation of Expy. 83 to allow an
underpass allowing McColl Road access to the Las Tiendas and McAllen Pavilion shopping areas, south
of the Expressway and East of 2nd Street (Col. Rowe Blvd.)
Longtime local grocery chain, CARLS, declares insolvency and is taken over by creditors, who say they
will operate the stores.
1998 August 27 - Tropical Storm Charley missed the Rio Grande coming in from the Gulf of Mexico.
It came ashore in the mid-Texas coast, then hooked west, stalling over Del Rio, TX which had serious
flooding. A great deal of rain was dumped into the lower Rio Grande watershed, offering some
respite from the serious drought conditions. (In mid-August 1998 Falcon Lake was at 17.5 percent of
1999 March - Futuro McAllen established. A group of citizens concerned with quality of life issues
and growth. (Monitor article Mar. 3, 1999 p 1C).
1999 April 6 - Trans World Airlines establishes scheduled service to McAllen Miller International
Airport with direct service to Austin, Texas and St. Louis, Missouri. Other existing carriers are
American Airlines and Continental Airlines.
1999 May 4 - A very unusual weather pattern caused the daily high temperature to reach 110 degrees
Fahrenheit. This is by far a record for this season.
1999 July 4 - Heavy rain causes annual fireworks display to be re-scheduled to July 5.
1999 August 22 - Hurricane Brett makes landfall about 30 miles north of Port Mansfield, TX, in
Willacy County. Brett was a category 4 hurricane by the time it made landfall. It developed quickly
in the Gulf of Mexico and moved north along the Mexican coast and threatened Brownsville before it
turned in farther north.
1999 October 20 - McAllen Development Corporation votes to recommend the construction of both a
north and a south Library Branches/Recreation Centers. Information based on construction bids opened
on October 19. See S. Branch for further information.
2000 January 27 - McAllen Vision 2000 a report of the Regional/Urban Design Assistance Team
is presented at City Hall. The report was commissioned by the City of McAllen and the Lower Rio
Grande Chapter of the American Institute of Architects.
2000 March 13 - McAllen City Commission adopts the Green Jay as McAllen’s official city bird.
McAllen City Commission officially called for a special election to amend the McAllen City Charter to
increase the number of City Commissioners from 4 to 6 and changing the method of their election from
at-large to single member districts. This election to be held on May 6, 2000.
2000 April 28 - The new City of McAllen Recycling Center, on Bentsen Road, is dedicated today.
2000 May 6 - Both Proposition 1 - creating single member districts for city commissioner, and
Proposition 2 - giving the Police collective bargaining - were passed by popular vote at the election
2000 September - City Commission preferred voter districting plan B, as proposed by the hired
consultants, but did not vote on the issue.
2001 January 18 - Both the Palm View Community Center and Branch Library and the Lark
Community Center and Branch Library were dedicated. The ribbon cutting at Palm View was at
10:00 AM and the ribbon cutting at Lark was at 11:00 AM. Both centers were open for business
immediately after the ribbon cutting.
2001 January 25 - Ribbon cutting for the Intermodal Transit Terminal (Central Station). McAllen
City Officials were joined by Texas Governor Rick Perry; Texas Secretary of State, Henry Cuellar;
U.S. Representative Ruben Hinojosa and Robert C. Patrick, regional director of the Federal Transit
Administration. This bus station will be served by Valley Transit Co, Turimex, Sendor, Noreste, and
McAllen Express.
2001 February 13 - Commissioner John Schrock and Commissioner Phyllis Griggs tender
resignations from City Commission. At the Commission Meeting the official call for the May 5,
2001 election was made. This is the election that will chose new commissioners under the 6 single
member district system. Maps of the Districts .
2001 February 18 - The water level behind Falcon Dam, on the Rio Grande, is as low as it ever
has been for this season since it first filled. Although there have been periodic rains during the last 12
months the effects of the ongoing drought continue.
2001 March 22 - From a front page article in the MONITOR, at the end of the filing period the
following are registered candidates for office in the May 5, 2001 election:
Mayor: Leo Montalvo, Othal Brand, Roberto (Bobby) Garcia, Armin Narro.
Commissioner - District 1: Carlos I. Garza, Irma Gomez, Jaime Enriquez.
Commissioner - District 2: Marcus C. Barrera, Albert Cardenas, Dr. Ricardo R. Chapa.
Commissioner - District 3: Robert P. Garza, Hilda Salinas, Leo (Polo) Valdez, Alfonso Poncho Liguez.
Commissioner - District 4: Sylvia Hinojosa, Raul Gonzalez, Aida Ramirez, Frank Perez Roel.
Commissioner - District 5: Arturo Banda, Roger Garza, Ric Godinez, Andrew Perez.
Commissioner - District 6: Jan M. Klinck, Eduardo Billy Pastor, Larry Pomerantz, Emilio Santos, Elvia
2001 May 5 - City Election Day
Results from an unofficial tally published in the Monitor - May 6, 2001 page 1.
There will be a runoff between Leo Montalvo and Othal Brand.
In District 1, Carlos Garza was a clear winner. In District 2, there will be a runoff between Marcus C.
Barrera and Ricardo R. Chapa. In District 3, there will be a runoff between Hilda Salinas and Alfonso Poncho - Liguez. In District 4, Aida Ramirez was a clear winner. In District 5, Ric Godinez was a clear
winner. (note: Andrew Perez withdrew in this race) In District 6, Jan M. Klinck was a clear winner.
The runoff is scheduled for Saturday, June 2, 2001.
Results in the McAllen School Board election
Alex Palacios was elected and Sara Tippit was re-elected.
2001 June 2 - Runoff election for McAllen City Commission.
In District 2, Marcus C. Barrera won. In District 3, Hilda Salinas won.
2001 September 11 - World Trade Center (twin towers) in New York destroyed by terrorist attack
by commercial airliners, Pentagon in Washington DC also attacked. These events caused many
changes throughout USA, including McAllen. Generally security is heightened. For several days
the only airplanes flying were Federal Government flights, some into and out from McAllen Miller
International Airport.
2002 - McAllen Chamber of Commerce moves into its new building.
2003 April 29 - The new McAllen Public Safety Building is dedicated. It is on the NW corner of Pecan
Avenue and Bicentennial Blvd. - The Police Department and Municipal Court are located in this
2003 May 3 - In contested elections incumbents Aida Ramirez, Dist. 4 - Ric Godinez, Dist. 5 and Jan
M. Klinck, Dist. 6 were re-elected to the McAllen City Commission.
2003 May 6 - Driscoll Children’s Specialty Center (Hospital) ribbon cutting and opening - located at
1120 E. Ridge Road, McAllen.
2003 October - Ground breaking for Texas State Veterans Home in McAllen.
2003 October 20 - Fire at Main Library in emergency stairwell closes the Library for several days
while smoke damage is cleaned.
August/October 2004 - City celebrates 100th “Centennial” in commemoration of the
establishment of the first train depot at the intersection of the present Highway 83 and
23rd St (Depot Road). The coming of the railroad marked the start of growth and progress
of McAllen. Festivities included a day long festival held at Archer Park featuring local storytellers, musicians, McAllen history displays, antique cars and touted 7,000 attendees. The
Centennial Gala dinner event is sold out and honors pioneer families: Guerra, McAllen and
Lucille Hendricks. Banners were placed throughout the City and a Centennial publication and
video were produced in conjunction with the celebration.
2004 - Northwest Airlines begins servicing McAllen - late in the year they ceased operations in
McAllen - NW flew from McAllen to Memphis, TN.
Glen E & Rita K. Roney Center - McAllen Boys and Girls Club in North McAllen opened. This 35,000
square foot facility is located on Buddy Owens Drive west of 23rd Street. It complements the main
Boys and Girls Club and its Othal Brand addition which is located at 2620 Galveston Dr.
2004 December 25 - measurable snow fell early Christmas morning, by sunrise a blanket of snow at
least an inch deep covered the City. This is the first time in McAllen history that there was snow on the
ground on Christmas Day. It melted by the end of the day. See snow2004 for pictures.
2005 January 11 - Groundbreaking for the new McAllen Convention Center - located on the East side
of Ware Road, just north of Expressway 83. Groundbreaking pictures.
2005 January 19 - International Museum of Art and Science (IMAS) Board names Serena M.
Rosenkrantz as new Executive Director.
2005 May - Allegiant Air announces that it will begin flying from McAllen Miller International Airport
to Las Vegas, Nevada. Flights to begin June 24.
2005 May 7 - Election for City Offices. Scott Crane was voted in as Commissioner for District 1 over
rival Garza. Marcus Barrera ran unopposed in District 2 and Hilda Salinas ran unopposed in District 3.
In the race for Mayor those running were Othal Brand, Richard Cortez, Rick Godinez, Armin Narro and
Gary Rodriguez. The result of this election sent Richard Cortez and Ric Godinez to a run-off election
to be held on May 18. In the race for Commissioner for District 5 those running were Aida Hernandez,
John Ingram and Rosalie Weisfeld. The result of this election sent John Ingram and Rosalie Weisfeld
to a run-off election. The District 5 election was necessary due to the fact that the District 5
Commissioner decided to run for mayor.
Bond election approves $98 million for McAllen ISD. For new elementary schools and improvements.
2005 June 15 - Dedication of the Alfredo Gonzalez Texas State Veterans Home, a 160 bed facility
for Texas veterans, their spouses and Gold Star parents. It is located at 310 E. Yuma Ave. The
administrator is Diana Zarate.
2005 May 18 - Runoff election for Mayor and City Commissioner District 5. Richard Cortez won
over Ric Godinez in the Mayoral race and John Ingram won over Rosalie Weisfeld in the race for
Commissioner for District 5.
2006 June 24 - Allegiant Airlines begins air service from McAllen to Las Vegas, NV. (At a later date
Allegiant tested the market for flights to Orlando, FL.)
2005 July 20 - Hurricane Emily passes south of McAllen, but close enough for a good scare. Most
businesses close. When it made landfall some 75 miles south of Brownsville it was a category 3
2005 July - McA2 Creative incubator established. This is 12 studio offices located at 1001 S. 16th
Street for expanding artists and art organizations. Tita Moreno of the McAllen Chamber of Commerce is
spokesperson for this effort.
2005 November - Delta Airlines announces that their allied connection carrier Allied Southeast Airlnes
(ASA) will fly direct flights from McAllen to Atlanta, Georgia beginning February 16, 2006.
2005 November 16 - Palm View Golf Course opens new Driving Range 2701 S. Ware Road, McAllen,
2006 - McAllen native and McHi graduate, Mike Fossum enters outer space for the first time as a
mission specialist for NASA’s space shuttle STS-121.
2006 January 18 - Allegiant Airlines ceases air service from McAllen to Orlando, FL. Its service from
McAllen to Las Vegas, NV continues.
2006 February 28 - Library Director, Gerard Mittelstaedt retires.
2006 October - First Annual “PalmFest International Folklife Celebration” held on grounds of McAllen
Civic Center. Event attracts over 15,000 over the two day event which featured history, arts & culture,
book fair, kids activities, music, ethnic foods, and the Fajita Cookoff.
2007 - The Veteran’s War Memorial is dedicated in McAllen near Gumwood and South 29th St.
The new “state of the art” McAllen Convention Center opens to the public.
2008 - Hurricane Dolly hits the lower Rio Grande Valley, including McAllen.
2008 June - The McAllen Heritage Center - museum of history opens to the public in the “La Placita”
building in downtown McAllen. Board members include: Elva M. Cerda, Nedra Kinerk, Spurgeon
“Spud” Brown, Gracie Silva. Two founding members passed prior to the opening of the Center
included, Rick De Julio and Helen Snider. MHC curator is Geoffrey Alger.
2008 Nov - Barak Obama is elected 44th President of the United States.
2008 - McAllen Heart of the City hosts first New Years Eve”Ball Drop” in downtown McAllen.
2009 - Lucille McKee Hendricks Elementary school is dedicated in honor of McAllen pioneer.
McAllen Methodist Church celebrates its 100th year anniversary.
McAllen Monitor newspaper celebrates its 100th year anniversary.
McAllen High School celebrates its 100 year anniversary.
Othal E. Brand Sr., McAllen’s longest serving Mayor (1977-1997) dies at the age of 89.
The Anzalduas International Bridge celebrates grand opening.
2010 January - Broadway Hardware Inc. a McAllen retail icon, closed it’s doors after 61 years of
serving McAllen. Broadway Hardware which specialized in hardware, gifts, hard to find items took pride
in offering customers good old fashioned “service”.
This page was formerly maintained by the staff at McAllen Memorial Library
and transferred to the McAllen Heritage Center as of January 26, 2010.
To send e-mail to the staff at MHC - mail to [email protected]
Important notice - Unless otherwise specifically stated, the information contained herein is made available to the public by
the McAllen Heritage Center Inc. (MHC) for general informational use in brief outline form only and may not reflect the full
or accurate historical account of each item herein.
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